Monday, October 29, 2007
OU student’s summer filled with opera
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
|Aida De la Cruz|
Aida De la Cruz spent her summer working with professional opera singers, training with some of the best opera teachers in the world and growing as performer. Her experiences have given her a solid foundation for finding a competitive master’s program after she graduates in December.
De la Cruz, who has loved the opera since 15, was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and studied opera for five years at the Conservatory of Music in Chihuahua before coming to the United States in 2001. She came to the United States to participate in the Detroit Opera House’s summer program, where she met OU Music Instructor Candace deLattre, who encouraged De la Cruz to attend Oakland University.
This February, De la Cruz returned to the Opera House, singing with many of the company’s productions, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Abduction” and “Cyrano,” which opens Oct. 13.
“I am proud to be working with the Detroit Opera House,” said De la Cruz, who graduates in December. “I am finishing my bachelor’s degree and I’m already working at a professional company that is a really good opera company.”
De la Cruz said she rehearses with the Detroit Opera House five days a week, depending on the performance schedule. She is hired to perform by production and, like the rest of the cast, must audition for each production.
Working with the Detroit Opera House has helped De la Cruz in her performances as well.
“Working with professionals, you learn to grab the best you can from different performers and make it your own,” De la Cruz said.
This summer, De la Cruz had another opportunity to perfect her opera technique. She participated in a six-week summer opera program in Austria as part of OU’s Hollingsworth European Study Award.
The award, given in honor of Professor of Composition Stanley Hollingsworth, who died in 2004, provides students the opportunity to study music in Europe. De la Cruz studied in Austria from July 3 through Aug. 13.
The intensive program includes singing lessons with coaches from all over the world and plenty of stage experience. A singing competition was held during the program and De la Cruz made it to the final round and competed against many professional singers.
“I want to thank all of the people who are involved with the Hollingsworth Award. It’s a great opportunity and it’s a really great experience. I made a lot of great contacts,” De la Cruz said. “If I ever get the chance to give someone the opportunity that was given to me through the Hollingsworth Award, I definitely would.”
Currently, De la Cruz is seeking out an opera master’s program.
“I’m looking at programs all over the world. In order to get into these programs, you need good experience. I have had the opportunity for many great experiences,” said De la Cruz.